Do you fear something in the future?
Find out how purposeful action 'today' will help you to accomplish two things;
• Push out the date of the 'Fearful Future', and
• Draw closer the date of the 'Happy Future'.
I was recently chatting to an old friend when the conversation turned to the state of his finances; he shared that he was ‘living off his capital’, as so many Boomers are, and that, at the rate he drawing down on his capital, he would run out of money before he died. His 'Fearful Future' was eventual homelessness and life on the street.
The prospect of running out of money had been so scary that, like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, he had been trying not to think about it. He was well and truly stuck. I use the past tense because I am happy to say that he now sees light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Our discussion turned into an impromptu coaching session where I was able to share with him how purposeful action about his finances ‘today’ could do two things for him;
- Push out the date of the “Fearful Future”
- Draw closer the date of the “Happy Future”.
Pushing out the date of the “Fearful Future”
By taking purposeful action ‘today’, just one day at a time, he can reach a place where the “Fearful Future” becomes so irrelevant that it is no longer fearful. In other words, instead of “running out of money before he runs out of life”, he will reach a point where he knows that he will "run out of life before he runs out of money". That is financial security.
In his book 'Good to Great', Jim Collins coined the phrase 'The Stockdale Paradox',named after Admiral James Stockdale, the highest-ranking US POW during the Vietnam War. Admiral Stockdale taught his fellow POW's to do two things;
- Acknowledge the brutal facts of their situation and their ‘Fearful Future’; torture and death,
- While maintaining faith that they would prevail in the end, their 'Happy Future'; winning their freedom again.
This combination of facing the brutal facts while believing that we can overcome them is an extremely powerful success principle. No matter how dark things seem, if you are reasonably healthy and willing to 'do something', if only to take charge of your thoughts, then the possibility of a "Happy Future" can begin to take shape in your mind and eventually become real.
Draw closer the date of the “Happy Future”.
Then my friend and I began exploring what a “Happy Future” might look like for him and his eyes lit up like searchlights probing for aircraft on a dark night! Long-forgotten dreams began to bubble up from his subconscious mind and take shape in his consciousness; the seemingly impossible a few minutes earlier began to feel possible, even “very doable”.
Hope began to replace fear. There is a way!
By taking purposeful action ‘today’, just one ‘today’ at a time, my friend can now see a clear path to draw the seemingly impossible “Happy Future” into reality.
The energy shift was awesome to watch; fear morphed into hope and hope into commitment.
The game has begun.
Just focus on today.
He won’t get there in five minutes but, if he is willing and able to take purposeful action one ‘today’ at a time, some ‘today’ in the future will be ‘the day’ the goal of financial security is accomplished.
Just today, nudge that flywheel.
He must trust that small, consistent, daily nudges of the flywheel will get it turning in the right direction. And, as his flywheel-turning skills develop, the momentum of the flywheel will increase with each nudge.
All he needs to do now is focus on taking purposeful action today, just one day at a time.
He no longer needs to worry about the “Fearful Future”. He has acknowledged the brutal facts of his situation and no longer needs to dwell on it or fear it; his entire, all-consuming focus is on the purposeful action he must take ‘TODAY’, and only ‘TODAY’.
Tomorrow is another day.
What about a “Fearful Future” you cannot do anything about?
My only advice is to follow the Dalai Lama’s advice;
“Don’t worry. If you can do something, do it. If you can’t do anything, don’t worry, you can’t do anything about it.”
Take whatever purposeful action you can, give it your best. And then learn how to live with the uncertainties of life and how to discipline yourself to stop worrying.
Talk to me if you are feeling stuck.
You do not need to suffer alone nor in silence.
Like my friend, and a ton of other clients I have helped, getting unstuck can be very simple, quick and easy.
It’s a mind-shift thing. And a mind-shift is only a thought away.
Then the game can begin in earnest.